Teaching Assistant in France Survival Guide/Americans Traveling with Children

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Inspired by the Wikibook Teaching Assistant in France Survival Guide, this page is geared towards Americans traveling to France with their child(ren) through the CIEP program.

If you would like to learn more about this program, please visit the Embassy of France in the U.S. web site: Teaching Assistant Program in France.

The process is more involved than for assistants traveling alone. We hope this page provides a wealth of information and resources for those of you who wish to include your family on this adventure!

For the purpose of continuity, this information is for bringing one child. Please adjust accordingly for multiple children.

Pre-Preparation[edit]

Money[edit]

Assistants make approximately 900€ each month - before taxes. This amount is suitable for one person to live on (with the help of French government assistance such as the CAF), however it is not recommended that you count solely on this income to support your dependents while you are there.

It is highly recommended that you have some money saved up before leaving for France. How much? That's an excellent question, to which I don't yet have an answer.

Visa[edit]

Before applying for a Visa, your child must have a valid U.S. Passport.

Your child will need a Long Stay Visa. This generally takes 3 months to be processed but varies depending on the consulate and whether or not you apply in person.

The Visa fee for yourself is free, however in 2005 the Long Stay Visa for a child of a teaching assistant was $125. Please inquire as to the fee, as it is subject to change.

You must:

  • provide financial disclosure by showing how you intend on financially supporting your child during your stay (a signed statement from your bank)
  • prove that your child has health insurance for the duration of the visit
  • provide an address of residence for the time of your stay (most assistants will have this so use the address of the school)

Be prepared with as much information as possible if you apply in person. You may be asked for copies of plane tickets.

(more on these points later)

Paperwork[edit]

Photocopy, photocopy, and photocopy!!! Bring originals and photocopies of immunizations. The French schools want to see proof of a tuberculosis vaccination but proof of a tuberculosis test will be sufficient. Bring lots of wallet size photos (headshots) of every family member. Inquire about after school or additional child care available at the Mairie or school. Keep documentation about your salary and find out if you qualify for a reduction for school lunch.